Ashley Gregory will make a return to racing this season after confirming her place on the Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE Trophy grid for 2023.

The 18-year-old will embark on her rookie campaign with the support of her family-run team in a series recognised as one of the most competitive one-make categories in the UK, and which this year will support both the British Touring Car Championship and British Truck Racing Championship.

Having started racing in 2015, the Rawtenstall-based driver enjoyed unprecedented success during a six-year stint in Junior Ministox, where she claimed three overall titles and chalked up more than 100 podium finishes.

In 2020, Gregory graduated to the Junior Saloon Car Championship where she picked up two podium finishes before returning the following season to clinch a maiden victory.

After being unable to secure a full-time drive in 2022, the teenager was compelled to work on a return to racing this season whilst also keeping sharp behind the wheel with sporadic appearances in Outlaw F2.

Now with backing from Pecometer Software, Available Car, Salford Car and Van Hire, GMCR Photography, HMS Haulage, DMG Contracts, Northcoat, Wilson and Whiting, Lancashire Carpets, Lavender Hotels and Mintech Spares, Gregory joins the MINI CHALLENGE Trophy looking to make her mark on track.

“I’m really looking forward to being able to compete in a high-profile championship such as the MINI CHALLENGE Trophy this year, especially after having sat last season out,” she said.

“There’s no denying that it is going to be really competitive but I’m confident that the experience of racing a MINI in Ministox for a number of years will serve me well and I’m more than up for the challenge that lies ahead.

“We’ve enjoyed some positive test days in recent months and I’m aiming to hit the ground running come Easter weekend at Brands Hatch. Consistently finishing inside the top ten and challenging for the Rookie title has to be target this year!

“Before the season gets underway though I’ve got to say a big thank you to all of my loyal sponsors and my friends and family for their support; without them I wouldn’t be able to make this step up. I’ll be giving everything I’ve got on and off the track.”